Links to idlers:
The Idler Academy. Back in 1991, bored to tears by his job, 23 year old journalist Tom Hodgkinson lay on his bed and dreamed of starting a magazine called The Idler. He’d found the title in a collection of essays by Dr Johnson, himself a constitutionally indolent man. How to live, that was the question. How to be free in a world of jobs and debt? And curse this alarm clock. Tom was fortunately sacked from his job and started to sign on. He wandered across the road to where his old friend, designer and writer Gavin Pretor-Pinney lived. Gavin was the kind of person who could help Tom to realise this dream. And he did. In August 1993, the pair produced issue one of the Idler. It had the sub-title “literature for loafers”. Dr Johnson was the cover star and there was an interview with magic mushroom guru Terence McKenna. Contributors included a young journalist called Louis Theroux. The magazine has since enjoyed a number of incarnations. In the nineties it was published by the Guardiannewspaper, then by Ebury publishing. Tom published the Idler as an annual collection of essays until 2014, then relaunched the mag in 2016.
The Idler Academy, founded at a festival in 2010, is the Idler’s educational offshoot. It is a school which offers online and real-world courses in the classical liberal arts and practical skills. From 2011 to 2015 we ran a small bookshop and café in Notting Hill. The Idler Academy teaches philosophy, astronomy, calligraphy, music, business skills, English grammar, ukulele, public speaking, singing, drawing, self-defence and other subjects. Here you can educate yourself in the ideas of Plato or learn the ukulele, in convivial surroundings with like-minded and interesting people.
In Defense of Boredom: 200 Years of Ideas on the Virtues of Not-Doing from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds - by Maria Popova (quotes from Bertrand Russell, Søren Kierkegaard, Andrei Tarkovsky, Susan Sontag, Adam Phillips, Renata Adler, and more). This is important, since boredom can constitute what I, in my book A Portrait of a Lifeartist, call a nihilistic moment in the practice of idleness, which might cause escapism. These thinkers show the importance of boredom.
Living without Money (Daniel Suelo´s website)
Moneyless World - Free World - Priceless World (Daniel Suelo´s blog)
The Man Who Quit Money (a book about Daniel Suelo)
Moneyless World - an information site about people around the world living moneyless, and resources for people who want to live moneyless
The Moneyless Man - a year of Freeconomic Living, by Mark Boyle
The Moneyless Manifesto (Mark Boyle) - read it for free!
Moneyless.org - A Rich Life without Money - Tips, Blogs, Stories, Books
Videos with folks voluntarily living moneyless in the modern world
The Freecycle Network – a movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns
Basic income (Basic income is an income that is given unconditionally to all citizens and persons with permanent residence in a country without the need testing or work duty, and are of such a size that it is possible to live on, albeit at a modest level.)
Early Retirement Extreme. Early Retirement Extreme (ERE) is a movement of individuals integrating ideas from anti-consumerism, DIY, the Renaissance man ideal, home economics, individualism, environmentalism, and rentier capitalism toward the goal of achieving financial independence extremely rapidly. Putting ERE principles into practice yields a lifestyle that meets all needs while minimizing ongoing inputs of money, natural resources, friction, and effort.
By embracing simple living, self-sufficiency, and prudence, a worker with a typical wage income can comfortably achieve a savings rate of 50-80%. The mathematics of compound interest and safe withdrawal rates dictate that an individual with such a high savings rate can achieve financial independence after only 5-10 years.
Tiny House Movement. The tiny-house movement is an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes.
Permaculture Magazine - the permaculture movement helps you to turn your home into a productive entity and thereby bring nature into your everyday life
Website of the Slow Food movement - contains their inspiring manifesto
Sacred Economics, Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition,
by Charles Eisenstein
The Right to Useful Unemployment, by Ivan Illich. Like all revolutionary philosophers, Ivan Illich takes a fresh and searingly critical look at the nature of society, questioning the myth of progress and provoking people into rethinking some of the basic assumptions that underly it. In this postscript to Tools for Conviviality, he calls for the right to useful unemployment: a positive, constructive and even optimistic concept dealing with that activity by which people are useful to themselves and others outside the production of commodities for the market. Unfettered by managing professionals, unmeasured and unmeasurable by economics, these activities truly generate satisfaction, creativity and freedom.
Links to my main spiritual teachers:
Jiddu Krishnamurti (spiritual anarchism)
Karen Blixen (philosophy in storytelling)
J.R.R. Tolkien (philosophy in storytelling)
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (philosophy in storytelling)
Peace Pilgrim (She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.")
Links to Traditionalists
Sacred Web (a journal of tradition and modernity. This journal aims to identify Traditional “first principles” and their application to the contingent circumstances of modernity. Here you can find a lot of free articles, which could suggest topics for discussion).
School of Storytelling (courses in storytelling)
Fictional Cities (a website about how stories add spice to our ideas and feelings about the cities we love).
The World Travels (a website about so-called “Literary Tourism”)
The Autumn Salon (a website dedicated to raise awareness around individuals who, through connecting the traditional wisdom of the past with the living energy of the present, are contributing to a global culture of the future).
The Modern Fairies Project (Modern Fairies is a unique collaboration between leading songwriters, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers & researchers to develop exciting new work, presenting fresh perspectives on what folklore means to us in the modern world).
Myth and Moor (wonderful blog on folklore, fairy tales, fantasy, mythic arts and mythic living. It is written by Terri Windling. Especially relevant is her Into the Woods series).
The Journal of Mythic Arts (JoMA was a pioneering online magazine dedicated to Mythic Arts: literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, and fairy tales. Published by The Endicott Studio, edited by the above mentioned Terri Windling, JoMA ran from 1997 to 2008. This website contains material drawn from JoMA's 11 years of publication. It is kept online as a Mythic Arts archive, and as such is not updated. For more recent discussions of Mythic Arts, fantasy literature, and related topics, visit Terri Windling's Myth & Moor.
The Gift, by Lewis Hyde. By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities.
Hallowquest – Exploring Ancient Thresholds of Inspiration. Caitlín and John Matthews like to explore the myths of Britain and Ireland, uncover the Celtic and Arthurian mysteries, explore the shamanic possibilities and create rituals that honour the ancestral ways and tell the ancient stories that our descendants will remember. Caitlin and John Matthews are, for example, the people behind the so-called Storyworld cards, kits for creating stories yourself. In my Meditation Mentoring and Forest therapy practice, I use many of the Hallowquest products as tools for breaking up our reality tunnels.
Note that it requires that you can abstract from their New Age reductionism (quantum mysticist speculations of the very small, and Jung´s world-isolated psyche). This seems namely to be completely in contrast with holistic ancient ways.
Links to critique of New Age and Self-help:
Spiritual Vampires – The Use and Misuse of Spiritual Power, by Marty Raphael. In this day and age of spiritual teachers that come in every conceivable guise, Spiritual Vampires is an important manual on the appropriate use of power-a strategy for healthy spiritual recovery for those who have been subject to religious abuse. Marty Raphael bravely names a form of abuse we'd rather believe does not exist. Her personal story of healing is a powerful contribution to the healing of all spiritual abuse survivors! People whose lives center on destroying other people's lives by disempowering them, who reduce their victims to dependent subjects to be lorded over, have been called spiritual vampires. Some of the therapists, ministers and gurus I've written about elsewhere in my articles and books could be called spiritual vampires, very aptly. In my article Spiritual Vampires, I show how spiritual energy can be turned vampirising into the ego-structures, instead of out towards divine healing. Another related article is The Ego-inflation in the New Age and Self-help environment.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, by Oliver Burkeman. The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. And that there is an alternative “negative path” to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid. It is a subversive, galvanizing message, which turns out to have a long and distinguished philosophical lineage ranging from ancient Roman Stoic philosophers to Buddhists.
Crazy Therapies : What Are They? Do They Work?
Against Therapy, by Jeffrey Masson. In this ground-breaking and highly controversial book. Masson attacks the very foundations of modern psychotherapy from Freud to Jung, Fritz Perls to Carl Rogers. With passion and clarity, Against Therapy addresses the profession´s core weaknesses, contending that, since therapy´s aim is to change people, and this is achieved according to the therapist´s own notions and prejudices (subjectivism), the psychological process is necessarily corrupt, and can justify the use of brainwashing, beating and torture. In a nutshell it is the same argumentation I myself put forward towards the Matrix Conspiracy´s two methods: psychotherapy and coaching. See my books The Matrix Conspiracy 1-2.
Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile - by Steven Pressman.
Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace
Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless
Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America
Fool's Paradise: The Unreal World of Pop Psychology
I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions
Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety